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Martins: Barcelona F2 win shows we are making progress

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Victor Martins says his commanding Formula 2 sprint race win at Barcelona shows he and ART Grand Prix are making progress and gives them “big confidence” going forward.

The Alpine junior was 20th in the championship arriving in Spain, with a best finish of seventh. Having qualified ninth on Friday, he led Saturday’s sprint race from start to finish, winning by 4.4 seconds after nearest challenger Ritomo Miyata was penalised.

“It felt good,” Martins told media including Formula Scout. “You need to appreciate these moments. For the team, for myself, it gives confidence for the future. I think it shows that we are making progress.

“Of course, it’s a sprint race, we always want to qualify in front and get the pole and the victory in the feature race. But it always feels good to get some points, get a clean race, and I think today we got everything right and that’s what we need for the future.”

Reigning teams’ champion ART struggled for results with the new-for-2024 F2 car, propping up the points table before Zak O’Sullivan’s surprise feature race win at the last round in Monaco, but Martins believes “we start to understand a few things”.

“Already from yesterday I think we have seen some good things, and in the past in some early qualifyings in the season, we were just there and not understanding why we were so far.

“We start to see some good things on data and I start also to feel I’m confident in the car. So I’m happy about that, because there may have some delay compared to some other teams, but we are getting there and the season is still really, really long.”

Martins said the result was important as “I need to see that I’m capable of doing things right from the start to the finish and show the team that I’m still here, because in motorsport one day, you can be a hero, and the day after, if you don’t perform, you don’t do a proper result, you are zero.”

Asked if he’s had any doubts over the ability to turn things around, he said: “I know what I’m capable of doing and I showed in the past that I’m able to win races, win championships and, being in the best car or close, I’m still able to be there at the top.

“I think I’ve got some experience to know what I can do better or when I cannot do anything. And I always have the support from my team. We have a good relationship, an honest one, and we have been working really, really hard day and night to understand well.”

He added: “It’s tricky, there are doubts, but in the end you are clear what you did in the past, you remember how you did it, and I think that’s keeping you in the path and keeping the consistent confidence.

“I believe what I did last year, I can do it again.”